’30-YOC Top Ten Lists’ – ‘Top Ten Wrestlers From The 1980’s’
Ok, I am ready for the third installment of this series that hits “30-YOC” every Sunday night.
Going forward, there will be a slight twist – I am going to be adding a category of honorable mention to the list of Top 10. Frankly, this process has been a lot of fun for me and as I think of new topics and then the contenders for those topics I am oftentimes coming up with more than 10 worthy selections.
So, without further ado – I bring to you – ‘Top Ten Wrestlers From The 1980’s’
To preface this list, I did a little homework and my list consists of guys that wrestled in the 1980’s or debuted during the 1980’s. They may not have had their greatest successes or failures during that time, but I consider all of these guys as ‘Wrestlers Of The 80’s’
Honorable mention: Junk Yard Dog, Van Vader, Scott Steiner, Tito Santana, Sting, and Rowdy Roddy Piper.
#10 – King Kong Bundy – Such a fun villain, he really embraced that role. And while pretty limited from a technical standpoint, his forceful moves made him a fun main-eventer to cheer for or against.
#9 – Dusty Rhodes – Great on the microphone and fair in the ring, Dusty was around for twenty years prior to 1980, but he was still a very high profile talent whose ‘Atomic Elbow’ would knock you into next week.
#8 – Lex Luger – Luger had the greatest debut that I recall from my youth. I had never seen so much attention paid to a newcomer like it was for Luger. With a physique that was unmatched, if he had better skills on the mic, he could have been the best.
#7 – Hulk Hogan – As a kid, I wouldn’t consider myself a ‘Hulkamaniac’ but I absolutely respect everything he did to propel the popularity of the sport. His in-ring presence and ability to control 20,000 people with his actions is unparalleled.
#6 – Arn Anderson – So underrated, Arn Anderson is one of the best technical wrestlers that I have ever seen. Great in both singles and tag-team action, Anderson provided a great fight each and every time he entered the ring. Always a bridesmaid, and never a bride, Anderson did not have the looks or personality to carry a heavyweight championship, but he definitely had the skill.
#5 – Ricky ‘The Dragon’ Steamboat – Like most kids, I took karate lessons as a youngster. It was cool to see Ricky use some of the same moves I learned in his matches. He was fun to watch, was great off the top rope, and had some very intense rivalries during his days.
#4 – Shawn Michaels – I have watched his entire career, from start to finish. And while I was not a fan of his during his early years, Shawn Michaels became an incredibile performer. His in-ring work got so good, you could tell that he was extremely dedicated to his craft. His teaming with ‘Degenration X’ and rebelious ways made being a bad guy fun!
#3 – Bret Hart – Easily the best wrestler that I have ever seen. His skills were sharp from the moment he entered the ring, it’s a shame that so much of his early years were spent in tag-team action against lesser competition. Hart’s personality was not the best, but he was good enough on the mic to warrant lengthy title reigns. And the fact that he competed well against opponents of all sizes is a true testament to his unsurpassed skill level.
#2 Ric Flair – The ‘Nature Boy’ had it all. Tremendous in-ring skill, and the best performer when in front of the cameras. He was the perfect bad-guy, and when I was watching him as a kid, he made being bad so much more fun than being good. The confidence that Flair displayed in his talent took him a very long way – and when he got his Blond hair all bloody, it was priceless.
#1 Randy “Macho Man” Savage – I was captivated by Savage the first time I saw him on TV, and only part of it was due to Ms. Elizabeth. When Savage would leap from the top rope and drop an elbow on his opponent, he soared! A very skilled wrestler, and equally talented with the microphone in his hands, Randy Savage mixed in just the right amount of crazy that kept you on the edge of your seat. From intense battles with Hogan, Flair, Steamboat, Warrior, and more, I cheered Savage like I cheered no one else.
Man, that was a blast. At some point I will have to dig back into my memory bank and hit the 1990’s.
But for now, I will leave you with a glimpse into next week’s list – ‘Top Ten Actors’